The role of vasopressin in the genetic and neural regulation of monogamy

Miranda Lim, E. A.D. Hammock, L. J. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Arginine vasopressin modulates pairbond formation in the monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). Our laboratory has investigated the genetic and neural mechanisms by which vasopressin and its V1a receptor (V1aR) regulate social attachment between mates. Non-monogamous vole species show strikingly different distribution patterns of brain V1aR expression compared to monogamous species, and these patterns are thought to arise from species differences in the respective promoter sequences of the V1aR gene. Individual differences in prairie vole V1aR patterns may also reflect individual differences in promoter sequences. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of the specific brain regions that express V1aR in the 'monogamous pattern' allows multilevel examination of the neural circuits that underlie pairbond formation in monogamous species. For example, V1aR are expressed in brain regions involved in reward circuitry in monogamous vole species and have been implicated in pairbonding. V1aR are also highly expressed in regions implicated in the olfactory processing of sociosexual behaviour. We hypothesize that both circuits of reward and olfactory memory underlie the cognitive mechanisms that control pairbonding. When used in conjuction, genetic and cellular analyses of a complex social behaviour can provide a coherent framework with which to examine the role of the vasopressin system in species evolution and neural control of behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-332
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Arvicolinae
Vasopressins
Reward
Individuality
Brain
Vasopressin Receptors
Behavior Control
Arginine Vasopressin
Social Behavior
Pharmacology
Genes

Keywords

  • Microsatellite
  • Pairbond
  • Reward
  • Ventral pallidum
  • Vole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

The role of vasopressin in the genetic and neural regulation of monogamy. / Lim, Miranda; Hammock, E. A.D.; Young, L. J.

In: Journal of Neuroendocrinology, Vol. 16, No. 4, 01.04.2004, p. 325-332.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lim, Miranda ; Hammock, E. A.D. ; Young, L. J. / The role of vasopressin in the genetic and neural regulation of monogamy. In: Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 2004 ; Vol. 16, No. 4. pp. 325-332.
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